Tag Archives: violence

* * NOWHERE TO HIDE * * Ashley’s “Normal” Education? Part 1

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Ashley’s education includes, her parents’ divorce, her stepfather’s mental health issues, her mother’s angry abuse, her grandmother’s alcoholism and living every day in one of the highest violence and crime neighborhoods in our city.

Three+ adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), before the age of eight.

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Brain science informs us that Ashley, and millions of others like her,  won’t “just get over it.”

Researchers find that unaddressed stress and fear from developmental trauma change the physical architecture of the developing brain.

The changes to the physical brain damage children’s memory systems, their ability to think, and to organize multiple priorities (“executive function”), and hence to learn, particularly literacy skills.

Developmental trauma can include physical, emotional and sexual abuse, physical and emotional neglect, a missing parent (due to separation, divorce, incarceration, death), living in a household with substance abuse, violence, or mental illness and more.

It frustrates Ashley as much as it frustrates us.

It’s been urgent.

Now, this year Ashley endured a shocking, high stress, high fear home “invasion” by police with loud radio dispatchers and high-intensity red-lights spinning and flashing, all at  one a.m..    Ashley’s deepest personal scars came from seeing and hearing the horror of her stepfather break her little brother’s leg with a baseball bat…

Ashley came to school the next day.

Ashley is not unusual.

Two out of 3 children have some level of trauma-impact.  Experts describe it as a ‘national crisis’, an ‘epidemic’.  Yet, it’s the “elephant in the [class]room!”

When calm, Ashley can be bright and engaging.

In school, however, Ashley is a year behind.  She struggles to focus during reading class.    She alternates between silent “spaciness” and aggressive vocal opposition.

All typical measures of academics drop significantly from impacts of developmental trauma, based on a plethora of research (links below):  GPA down, ‘standardized test’ scores down, IQ scores down, non-cognitive skills down, attendance down, graduation rates down.

Ashley lives in an urban area where violence, trauma and ACE rates are even higher than the shocking rates in suburbia . Children of color comprise 90% of her school.    So one measure does go up:   her  district’s achievement gap.

Still,  we look in the wrong places to understand Ashley and the millions like her and their education “results”:    comparisons to “national standards” (with unequal local funding), and meaningless ‘standardized (SES) scores’.

Ashley’s poor academic results directly reflect her ongoing and unaddressed, developmental trauma.

Making Ashley feel safe, physically, emotionally, socially and more is crucial.   Ashley’s academic results will continue to suffer and will probably decline further until we help address her fears.

Individual “504 Plans” are not a solution, given the wide scope and the systemic changes required.

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Schools are not trauma-informed.

Experts describe childhood trauma as a ‘national crisis’, an ‘epidemic’.  Meanwhile, Ashley is losing her right to equal access.  Equal Access to an education.

It’s morally wrong.
It’s urgent.
 
Trauma-Informed adults CAN make a difference.

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Get Informed.  Click on links below.

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“Like” us at “Trauma-Informed Schools” on Facebook

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 This is only Part 1 of Ashley’s struggle with Trauma’s damage.

Cognitive impacts are  only 1 part of trauma’s damage.  Neurobiology reveals that nature also fuels  social hyper-vigilance,  a second equally powerful impact on Ashley.

The social and behavioral impacts may be worse…

CLICK HERE for Part 2, the social part of Ashley’s struggle.    “Nowhere to Hide:   Ashley’s “Normal” Education?” , Part 2.           

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Toxic stress changes brain architecture                        CLICK HERE        (2 minute video)  

.Exposure to Violence: Psychological and Academic Correlates       (to GPA)                                                                                            CLICK HERE 

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Violence Exposure, Trauma, and IQ and/or Reading Deficits            (IQ: Wechsler Primary and Preschool Scale of Intelligence and    also the Test of Early Reading Ability, second edition)                                                                                                                                                   CLICK HERE

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Influence of childhood maltreatment on adolescent academics      (GPA and attendance)                                                         CLICK HERE 

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Washington State Department of Early Learning:                  Disruptions in Developing Executive Function         CLICK HERE

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Helping trauma-impacted children learn                      CLICK  HERE

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Look for other parts of this series “Nowhere to Hide” on LucidWitness.com  for more information.

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     “Nowhere to Hide” series overview

                                             click HERE
Photo © Daun Kauffman

 

             “Nowhere to Hide” series links

Each separate, individual article in the series focuses on a single component of the workings of developmental trauma, via real life examples in short “60 second” soundbites, akin to “Public Service Announcements” (PSAs).  They are designed for sharing in social media networks to grow public awareness.

Trigger warning: 

the children’s experiences in the vignettes are unvarnished.  Their traumatic responses may trigger painful memories.

 

Nowhere to Hide:  Maria; Fight, flight or freeze

Photo © Daun Kauffman

Nowhere to Hide:  Andre’s Fear; What are Adverse Childhood Experiences?

Photo © Daun Kauffman

Nowhere to Hide:  Jamar’s Hyper-arousal 

Photo © Daun Kauffman

Nowhere to Hide:  Roberto’s Dissociation 

Public Domain @ Pixabay

Nowhere to Hide:  Danny’s Memory

Photo © Daun Kauffman

Nowhere to Hide:  Ashley’s “Normal” Education?   Part 1

Pixabay: adamova1210

Nowhere to Hide:  Ashley’s “Normal” Education?   Part 2

Photo © Daun Kauffman

More to come

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“Like” us at  “Trauma-Informed Pedagogy” on Facebook

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Please share a PSA link to help grow public awareness of the impacts of developmental trauma. There are so many of us who’ve never heard of the overpowering life-long impacts.

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“Peek Inside a Classroom” series overview

The second original series, “Peek Inside a Classroom”, provides much more detailed looks inside my classroom, primarily focused on specific students: Jasmine, Danny and José.

Other children are captured in broader looks at education reform concepts: “Failing Schools or Failing Paradigm?” and “Effective Education Reform”, co-authored with Sandra L. Bloom, M. D..

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“Peek Inside a Classroom” series links

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Peek Inside a Classroom:  Jasmine

© Elliot Gilfix/Flickr

Peek Inside a Classroom:  Danny

Photo © Daun Kauffman

Peek Inside a Classroom: José

belseykurns: Pixabay public domain
belseykurns: Pixabay public domain

Peek Inside a Classroom:  Failing Schools or Failing Paradigm?

Peek Inside a Classroom:  Effective Education Reform (with Sandra Bloom, M.D.)

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“Click for Resources…”  series overview:

“Click for Resources”  posts are the theory and research behind the narrative posts in  “Nowhere to Hide” and “Peek Inside a Classroom”.

Each post in “Click for Resources “ is divided in three parts:

1) general press articles,

2) Research Journals or academic papers

3) social media, often with video.

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“Click for Resources” series links:

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1.   Adverse Childhood Experience (ACE) Studies:   CLICK HERE

 2.  Impacts of Childhood Trauma: Overview               CLICK HERE

Click for Resources: Social Media on Impacts of Childhood Trauma

Click for Resources: Journal Articles on Impacts of Developmental Trauma

 3.   Trauma-Informed Schools                                               CLICK HERE

Flickr: andrew and hobbes

 4.  Trauma-Informed Social Services                                CLICK HERE 

Flickr: andrew and hobbes

 5.   Trauma-Informed Juvenile Justice                             CLICK HERE

Flickr: andrew and hobbes

 6.  Trauma-Informed Public Policy                                   CLICK HERE

Flickr: andrew and hobbes

 7.  Childhood Trauma Training and Tools                     CLICK HERE

the concept of learning

 8.  Book and Publication selections                                CLICK HERE

Public Domain

9.   #800 phone numbers                                                         CLICK HERE

Pixabay: Public Domain
Developmental trauma,  still “the elephant in the  [class] room”  for many adults.

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“Like” us at  “Trauma-Informed Pedagogy” on Facebook

 

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